A Short-Form Measure of Loneliness to Predict Depression Symptoms Among Adolescents

Michael J. Kyron, Stephen Houghton, David Lawrence, Andrew C. Page, Simon C. Hunter, Sashya Gunasekera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to produce a short-form measure of loneliness and assesses its prediction of depressive symptoms relative to a comprehensive measure. Western Australian adolescents completed the Friendship Related Loneliness and Isolation subscales of the Perth Aloneness Scale (PALs) three times over 18 months (T 1 n = 1538; T 2, n = 1683; T 3, n = 1406). Items were reduced while preserving predictability. Follow-up confirmatory factor analyses and predictive models with the reduced and full PALs were then tested. A reduced six-item scale (PALs-6) preserved the two-factor structure of the PALs and showed strong prediction of very elevated depressive symptoms (Sensitivity = 0.70, Specificity = 0.78, AUC = 0.81); it was less successful in predicting future symptoms (Sensitivity = 0.67, Specificity = 0.64, AUC = 0.74). The PALs-6 provides a brief measure of adolescent loneliness for clinicians and researchers that also predicts very elevated levels of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1760-1770
Number of pages11
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number6
Early online date27 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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